Tupac returns as hologram for Coachella

Holo-Tupac performed last night at Coachella; here is a YouTube of very uncertain life expectancy. NSFW language! Oddly, he lacks a shimmering H badge on this forehead, as required by the Jupiter Mining Corporation's bylaws on holographic human resources. [via Super Punch]


  1. Impressive tech and wildly disturbing of how this might be used nefariously in the future.  

    1. I think it may be the Pepper’s Ghost illusion. But yeah, definitely not a hologram, the technology doesn’t yet exist to do a detailed full-color animated hologram projected into space like that (this video shows about the closest they can come for now, pretty damn cool but nowhere near the Tupac illusion)

        1. Yeah, it’s not a hologram either, I was thinking more of the idea of projecting a 3D image directly into space a la Princess Leia when I said “the closest they can come for now”. I don’t know if it would even be theoretically possible to project a hologram directly into space in the same way, the light that makes up the image travels on a straight path from the recording medium to your eye so you always see the 3D image in the same line of sight as the recording medium, either apparently in front of it or apparently behind it. Though as the Pepper’s Ghost illusion shows, with the right lighting conditions people may not realize they’re looking through a pane of glass, so if you could have a transparent holographic display which could be updated many times per second you could create the same sort of illusion (apparently the technology for holographic displays that update many times per second does exist, but I don’t know if they can make it transparent like glass), but I imagine it would be way more expensive and probably wouldn’t look any better from a distance.

  2. Anyone remembers “Wild Palms” by Bruce Wagner? It was done in 1993 and everything in this miniseries of a taste of extraordinary artistic refinement seems to come true, “holograms”, fabricated media lies, government sponsored terror, etc. It must be Carlos Castaneda’s participation in the film that put the Seer side of it…

    1. casteneda was involved in that? wow, i remember watching it in my student days, most of it went right over my head… but then, i still believed the bbc at that point

  3. 2.0-Pac Lives!

    But I hope this doesn’t mark the return of the infamous East Coast/West Coast hip-hop holograms vs. rapping robots feud.  

  4. Ok, maybe somebody back in the nineties really thought it was a brilliant idea to film Tupac in high def with a fixed camera continuously in full body shot while performing this song, to preserve it for prosperity, you know just in case the artist would die or something.
    Much more likely; this is actually a hologram of an actor impersonating Tupac, wich kinda begs the question why they couldn’t just put that guy on stage live in person and bypass the whole microfilament-cloth-Peppers-ghost-thing.

    TLDR: this is actually Legends In Concert(tm) v2.0

    1. If it is an impersonator, it’s much easier to pass it off as actually being Tupac if it’s a hologram. They’re not trying to imply that Tupac is actually still alive, and having an impersonator live would just be lame.

      I think it’s just as likely, though, that this is actual footage of him, cleverly extracted from the front-facing camera from some concert footage. If you look closely it’s not perfect, and I think if they were doing it from scratch with an impersonator it would be possible to get a better effect.

      I was watching this live last night and what intrigued me the most was how Snoop Dogg managed to stay in sync with the Tupac recording – he appeared to smoke massive amounts of marijuana throughout the concert (though I suppose it was probably actually just tobacco and he was just acting being high as a kite).

  5. I’ve got a friend who thinks this bolsters her 9/11 Truther faction, which thinks the planes were holograms.

    I disagree. I think they were ancient Egyptian diaphragms.

  6. Pretty sure its a CGI rendering and performance, created by artists at Digital Domain. I’d guess we’ll see details on the “making of” shortly… (just a guess ;)  )

  7. I liked him better when he was Barney the Dinosaur.   Also since this is boingboing, can we please have a lengthy discussion about Pepper’s Ghost, and how this is *so* not a hologram, with lots of Haunted mansion references, please? And if we bring people back to life,  can’t it be the ones who  never shot anyone, and were nice to women?

  8. The technology is called Musion and it is a basically an updated version of Pepper’s Ghost where an image is reflected on some type of medium. In this case, the medium is stretched mylar angled at 45 degrees to reflect a projected image from below (you can see a little of the screen underneath). The Haunted Mansion uses large sheets of glass to reflect physical object located above and beneath the ride vehicle.

  9. Not a real hologram. The company behind the Musion rear-screen projection tech (AV Concepts) are publicly taking credit for the 2D projection used in the Tupac resurrection:

    And they credit Digital Domain for the CG (“Digital Domain… delivered the life-like imagery”). Sadly, there will never be a holodeck.

  10. Great, now labels are going to start adding clauses to their boiler plate explicitly allowing for the artist to be simulated for 75 years after their death. “By signing, you grant us permission to figuratively rob your grave.”

  11. So a few months ago, I attended a small symposium on the future of 3D and holographic displays, and one of the researchers provided an interesting piece of info. If we map out our current data throughput over time, and identify how much data is needed for a full 3D interactive (ie, has motion, not a still image) display, then we won’t have enough data bandwidth until the year 2200. Not saying I agree, but an interesting thought to keep in mind.

  12.  Just went through 5 minutes of logging in and resetting my password just to say:   that was an awesome Red Dwarf reference and made my day!

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